Forged copper is heated, hammered and cooled until the desired shape is attained.


See Neil Silberman, “Glossary: A Question of Defense,” BAR 15:03.


Neutron activation analysis can detect some of the rarest elements present in pottery. By comparing the chemical “fingerprint” of the potsherd to that of various clay sources, it is often possible to determine the provenance of pottery. See Maureen F. Kaplan,“Using Neutron Activation Analysis to Establish the Provenance of Pottery,” BAR 02:01.


See translation of Ramesses III inscription, in which Alashiya is one of the countries overwhelmed by the Sea Peoples.



Personal communication from Ephraim Stern, Professor of Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University.


See Brian Hesse, “Animal Use at Tel Mique-Ekron in the Bronze Age and Iron Age,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 264 (1986), pp. 17–27; also his report on the 1985 faunal remains from Ashkelon in Ashkelon 1, forthcoming, Harvard Semitic Museum Archaeology and Ancient History series (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press).


Marvin Harris, Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches: The Riddles of Culture (New York: Random House/Vintage, 1975), pp. 35–57.


Trude Dothan, The Philistines and Their Material Culture (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1982); for their most recent statement, see Trude Dothan, “The Arrival of the Sea Peoples: Cultural Diversity in Early Iron Age Canaan,” pp. 11–22, and Moshe Dothan “Archaeological Evidence for Movements of the Early ‘Sea Peoples’ in Canaan,” pp. 59–70, both in Recent Excavations in Israel: Studies in Iron Age Archaeology, ed. Seymour Gitin and William G. Dever Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 49 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1989).


We need not imagine, as some scholars once did, that non-Mycenaean motifs of Philistine bichrome ware were acquired during the peregrinations of the Philistines around the eastern Mediterranean (e.g., Cyprus and Egypt) before landing in Canaan. All of these sources of inspiration were right at hand in Canaan itself. Even bichrome decoration itself was known in Phoenicia during the 13th century B.C. and has been found at Ashkelon (this LB IIB bichrome should not be confused with the earlier LB I bichrome, which originated in Cyprus).

In her most recent assessment, Trude Dothan (“The Arrival of the Sea Peoples”) has made a fine typological distinction between the Mycenaean IIIC:1 decoration, which she characterizes as Simple Style, and the Philistine bichrome decoration, which she associates with the Elaborate Style known in other parts of the eastern Mediterranean. With this distinction she implies in a more subtle way than before two “waves” of Sea Peoples: The pre-Philistine group makes and uses Simple Style, they are then either augmented or replaced by the later group, the Philistines, who produce Elaborate Style pottery.

It would be an extraordinary development, indeed, if a pre-Philistine group of Sea Peoples preceded in establishing new and impressive cities and then were displaced at each of the Pentapolis sites by the Philistines a decade or two later. It seems much more likely that the relatively minor developments in style from monochrome simple to bichrome elaborate represent changes within the potting tradition of the same people and culture as the second generation of Philistine potters assimilate some of the local Canaanite and other traditions. In other words, Philistine bichrome pottery represents a regional style that developed in south Canaan. It seems likely that other immigrant groups of Sea Peoples settling in the northern coastal Levant, in Cyprus and in the central Mediterranean—for example, Sardinia, Sicily and Italy—might develop distinctive regional styles as they come in contact with different indigenous cultures.


Lawrence E. Stager, “Merenptah, Israel and Sea Peoples: New Light on an Old Relief,” Eretz-Israel 18 (1985), pp. 61–62.


See Stager, “Merenptah, Israel and Sea Peoples.” Using other lines of reasoning, both Amihai Mazar (“The Emergence of the Philistine Material Culture,” Israel Exploration Journal 35 [1985], pp. 95–107) and Itamar Singer (“The Beginning of Philistine Settlement in Canaan and the Northern Boundary of Philistia” Tel Aviv 12 [1985], pp. 109–122) reached similar conclusions.


F. Asaro, Isadore Perlman and Moshe Dothan, “An Introductory Study of Mycenaean IIIC:1 Ware from Tel Ashod,” Archaeometry 13 (1971), pp. 169–175; Asaro and Perlman, “Provenience Studies of Mycenaean Pottery Employing Neutron Activation Analysis,” in The Mycenaeans in the Eastern Mediterranean, Acts of the International Archaeological Symposium (Nicosia, Cyprus: Department of Antiquities, 1973), pp. 213–224; Jan Gunneweg, Trude Dothan, Perlman and Seymour Gitin, “On the Origin of Pottery from Tel Miqne-Ekron,” BASOR 264 (1986), pp. 3–16.


See Stager, “Merenptah, Israel and Sea Peoples,” p. 64, n. 37 for bibliography of sites through 1985. To this list we should add Dothan, 1989.


See Dothan, 1989.


John A. Wilson, transl. in Ancient Near Eastern Texts (ANET), ed. James B. Pritchard (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1969), p. 262.


Heinrich Schliemann, Tiryns: The Prehistoric Palace of the Kings of Tiryns (New York: Scribner’s, 1885), pp. 146–147. For Kition, see Vassos Karageorghis and M. Demas, Excavations at Kition: The Pre-Phoenecian Levels, vol. V: Part 1 (Nicosia: Cyprus Dept. of Antiquities, 1985), for example, pl. 20:1087; pl. 34:1020, 1024; pl. 57:1024; pl. 117:5150–5156; pl. 195:5149–5156.


All references to Homer’s Odyssey follow the translation of Richard Lattimore, The Odyssey of Homer (New York: Harper & Row, 1965).


Stubbings, “The Recession of Mycenaean Civilization,” Cambridge Ancient History, (CAH), eds. I.E.S. Edwards, C.J. Gadd, N.G.L. Hammond and E. Sollberger (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 3rd edition 1975), vol. II, part 2: History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 B.C., pp. 354–358.


Fritz Schachermeyr, Griechische Fruhgeschichte: ein Versuch, fruhe Geschichte wenigstens in Umrissen verstandlich zu machen (Vienna: Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1984), pp. 181–190.


Strabo, The Geography, XIV, 1.27.


Schachermeyr, Griechische Fruhgeschichte, pp. 183–185.


Richard D. Barnett, “The Sea Peoples,” CAH, vol. II. part 2, pp. 363–365, and “Phrygia and the Peoples of Anatolia in the Iron Age,” CAH, vol. II, part 2, pp. 441–442.


Amihai Mazar, Excavations at Tell Qasile: Part One, The Philistine Sanctuary: Architecture and Cult Objects, Qedem 12 (Jerusalem: Hebrew Univ. Press, 1980).


See citations and discussion in George Foote Moore, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges (International Critical Commentary) (New York: Scribner’s, 1895), pp. 364–365.


Othniel Margalith, “Samson’s Riddle and Samson’s Magic Locks,” Vetus Testamentum (VT), 36 (1986), pp. 225–234.


Yigael Yadin, “‘And Dan, why did he remain in ships?’” Australian Journal of Biblical Archaeology 1 (1968), pp. 9–23; Cyrus Gordon, “The Mediterranean Factor in the Old Testament,” VT, Suppl. 9 (1962), pp. 19–31; Allen H. Jones, Bronze Age Civilization: The Philistines and the Danites (Public Affairs Press: Washington, D.C., 1975, Hershel Shanks, “Danaans and Danites—Were the Hebrew Greek?” BAR 02:02.


See John A. Wilson, ANET, p. 28, for Wen-Amon, where Dor is called a “town of the Tjeker (=Sikil).” Recently Dr. Avner Raban, of the Center for Maritime Studies at Haifa University, has discovered the remains of the ancient harbor used by Wen-Amon in the 11th century B.C. at Dor (see Raban, “The Harbor of the Sea Peoples at Dor,” Biblical Archaeologist 50 (1987), pp. 118–126.) The terrestrial archaeologist at Dor, Professor Ephraim Stern, considers the fortification system with glacis to have been built initially by the Sea Peoples, and specifically by the Sikils (personal communication). Shortly before the fall of Ugarit at the hands of the Sea Peoples, the Sikalayu, “who live on ships,” were raiding and kidnapping along the coast, according to one Akkadian letter found at Ugarit (RS 34.129). Among the last tablets written there the last king of Ugarit despairs, saying: “The enemy ships are already here, they have set fire to my towns and have done very great damage in the country” (RS 20.238). These seafarers and pirates (the Sikalayu = “Sikils”) later moved down the coast and settled in the region of Dor.

Several scholars misidentified the Sikalayu with the Sea Peoples group known as Shekelesh (e.g. G.A. Lehmann, “Die Sikalayu—ein neues Zeugnis zu den ‘seevolker’—Heerfahrten im spaten 13 Jh. V. Chr. [RS 34. 129],” Ugarit Forschung 11 [1979], pp. 481–494).

Anson Rainey was the first scholar to identify correctly the Tjeker of Egyptian sources with the Sikalayu of Ugarit. The tj of Tjeker should be phoneticized s (samakh); and of course, Egyptian r can equal r or l in Semitic. The gentilic Sikalayu actually masks the ethnicon Sikil (see Rainey, “Toponymic Problems,” Tel Aviv 9 [1982], p. 134; for the best interpretation of the text, see Gregory Mobley, “The Identity of the Sikalayu [RS 34.129],” BASOR [forthcoming]).

Thus the Sea Peoples, who established themselves at Dor in the early 12th century B.C.—namely, the Sikils—closely resemble the Sikelor of later Greek sources, the people who gave their name to Sicily, just as the Sherden, another group of Sea Peoples, bequeathed their name to Sardinia, and the Teresh/Tursha to first Tarsus and later to the Etruscans of Italy. According to the dispersal of proper names and the evidence of immigrant Mycenaeans, it would appear that during the “colonization” of the coastal Levant and Cyprus, fissiparous groups of Sea Peoples bearing the same ethnicons settled the coastal regions of the central Mediterranean and bequeathed their names to several peoples and places there.


Moshe Dothan, “Archaeological Evidence for Movements” and his “Sardine at Akko?” in Studies in Sardinian Archaeology: Sardinia in the Mediterranean, vol. 2, ed. Miriam Balmuth (Ann Arbor: Univ. Of Michigan Press, 1986), pp. 105–115.


Avraham Biran, “The Collared-rim Jars and the Settlement of the Tribe of Dan,” in Gitin and Dever, Recent Excavation, pp. 71–96.